Monday, January 30, 2012

Post Bretton Woods; Emerging Outlines of New International Monetary Order

Post Bretton Woods; Emerging Outlines of New International Monetary Order
Petrol Bourses are Modern Silk Routes
"History is ruled by an inexorable determinism in which the free choice of major historical figures plays a minimal role", Leo Tolstoy 
"Keynes's collective work amounted to a powerful argument that capitalism was by its very nature unstable and prone to collapse. Far from trending toward some magical state of equilibrium, capitalism would inevitably do the opposite. It would lurch over a cliff," --- Hyman Minsky.
In 1960s, while returning from Algiers by boat via Marseilles, I found that the French shop keepers were very reluctant to accept US dollars, preferring Algerian Dinars .It was said that the French were converting their reserves of US dollars into gold .Why were the French and president Gen De Gaulle doing so! ( It became clear by 1971)
Because at the end of WWII in 1944, agreements were drawn up at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, USA to establish a new monetary management system to avoid worldwide economic disasters like the great depression experienced in the 1930's. Under this agreement the International Monetary Fund was set up along with the World Bank. Both the institutions have been used to maintain and expand US financial hegemony around the world.
Bretton Woods established the US dollar as the reserve currency of the world, replacing the British pound sterling and required world currencies to be pegged to the dollar rather than gold.
The demise of Bretton Woods began in 1971 when Richard Nixon took the US off of the Gold Standard to stem the outflow of gold. But the dollar has remained a 'fiat currency," backed by nothing but the promise of the US federal government." But the 1971 US action, referred to as the Nixon shock, created a situation in which the United States dollar remains the sole backing of currencies and a reserve currency for the member states. 
Thus USA which had promised an ounce of Gold for US$ 35 went back on its international commitment , causing loss to those who held US dollars and not gold as reserves .So do not be surprised if Washington devalues $ or even refuses to reimburse trillions of dollars of debt , many countries hold in US dollar denominated securities .
In any case by 1976 the principles of Bretton Woods were abandoned all together and the world currencies again became free floating. But Bretton Woods remains an important template for forex traders. 
At the Bretton Woods II conference in New Hampshire in April last year funded by US speculator billionaire George Soros , who finances regime changes in US favour , he admitted that "The big question is whether the U.S. dollar should be the reserve currency; and, added that in fact, it no longer is." The Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, Columbia University professor, and former Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank admitted that the US dollar as the reserve currency is hurting the entire world. The US Federal Reserve has failed, and inequality in the US was reaching a tipping point that hurts the economy and society, with policymakers sending the US further in the wrong direction.
Stieglitz who also chairs the U.N. General Assembly on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System, has argued  for "a global reserve currency and  called for a new "global system," saying the current one is "fundamentally unfair because it means that poor countries are lending to the U.S. at close to zero interest rates.""
During the last few years many countries including the five BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa have held many meetings including at the summit level and called "for a restructuring of the World War II-era global financial system and an eventual end to the long reign of the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency."
Petrodollars; US-Ibn Saud dynasty nexus;

Since the 1930s after the discovery of oil in the Arab peninsula, a critical development in the history of oil industry, there is the nexus between US and Saudi Arabia and a compact between the Saudi ruling elite and the puritan Wahabis, to handover the peninsula's oil wealth and revenues for western exploitation and benefit in return for protection to the Saud dynasty. This nexus has stood the test of time between successive Saudi and US governments. Washington has done everything to maintain the feudal regime in power, a regime which controls "the largest family business" in the world and lacks any popular mandate. ( It has not stopped Riyadh from interfering in other nations affairs across the Muslim world for greater freedoms and 'democracy 'i.e. in Syria , earlier in Libya etc)

This nexus began with first Franklin Roosevelt, then Dwight Eisenhower to Jimmy Carter to George H.W. Bush. Declared Roosevelt after meeting Saudi Arabia's king aboard a warship in 1945, "I hereby find that the defense of Saudi Arabia is vital to the defense of the United States." Carter, in 1980, put it even more forcefully: "Let our position be absolutely clear. Any attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States." It was clear even before WWII that oil had become the vital strategic commodity for expanding military and economic clout .During WWII, the Nazis occupied Romania for its oil and went for the oil fields in Azerbaijan, both countries then big oil producers.

Even a major reason for the partition of Hindustan was to protect western oil wells in the Middle East. Late Indian diplomat Narendra Singh Sarila in his well researched book 'The Shadow of the Great Game: The Untold Story of India's Partition', documents how the British leadership across the political spectrum , Conservatives and Labour , intrigued ,told lies , divided the Indian subcontinent and created a weak state of Pakistan which would be reliant on the West. Because Mahatma Gandhi with this opposition to violence and war, and emphasis on peaceful means to resolve all disputes and Jawaharlal Nehru with his non-real politic idealism and vision of creating friendship and understanding among colonized and exploited people of Asia, Africa, Middle east and elsewhere, would not join Western military pacts to protect from the Soviet Union, the oil wells in the Middle East dominated by Western oil companies.

Washington backed its commitment to protect Saudi Arabia with military treaties reaching into the Middle East. Apart from NATO and CENTO, U.S. military bases are stretched into east Africa, the Indian Ocean, and the Gulf to protect ME oil. Then came the Rapid Deployment Force and the U.S. Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet, now based in Bahrain. The 1991 Gulf War led to a massive expansion of the U.S. military presence in the region, including putting US troops on sacred Saudi soil, a major cause of anguish and deep resentment among conservative Muslims, specially the likes of the recently assassinated Osama bin Laden and Al Qaida and other such outfits.
Then came the 2003 illegal US led invasion of Iraq for its oil , publicly proclaimed by powerful deputy defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz and others like Alan Greenspan  .The invasion and brutal occupation has resulted in the death of over a million Iraqis , devastated the people ,divided and destroyed the state .But the outcome has been discomforting and to the contrary .The fierce Iraqi resistance has 'broken the US army' on the ground , making Washington to think many times to land large body of troops elsewhere. A Shia led pro-Tehran elite now controls Baghdad .Thus Iran's position has been strengthened against which Washington has developed a visceral hatred since West's gendarme in the region ,Shah of Iran was ousted in 1979 and US diplomats in Tehran Embassy held hostage .
All efforts are now being made to weaken Iran, directly or by weakening its allies; the Hezbollah in Lebanon and Assad regime in Damascus. But Russia and China are offering strong resistance, especially Moscow, against regime change of its ally Bashar Assad in Syria, since it will adversely affect its strategic position in the Mediterranean after the loss of Libyan ports. Washington with Saudi (and Qatari) finances has been exploiting the revolt of Arabs in north Africa against US puppet rulers of Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and elsewhere by promoting Muslim Brotherhood and other religious groups, as it has always done ie against nationalist and socialist regimes of Nasser in 1950s and 1960s and recently Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Muammer Gaddafi in Libya.
US remains determined that the business and trade in petroleum and gas is carried out and nominated in dollars, not only by Saudi Arabia but other five members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) as ordained but by others too. It is this template which acts as the spine for dollar as the reserve currency. But major changes are emerging.
Shifting of Economic Power from West to Asia
John Embry, Chief Investment Strategist of $9 billion strong Sprott Asset Management, said last year "When you look at the financial condition of the United States at the federal level, at the state level and at the municipal level, I don't see any way out of this.  There's too much debt, interest rates are far too low.  If interest rates really reflected what's going on, this risk in the debt and the risk of inflation, they would be hundreds of basis points higher and under that event the debt couldn't be serviced.  So there will be some form of default." 

Financial Times (London) warned last year that the US dollar will lose its status as the reserve currency in 25 years and would be replaced by a portfolio of currencies according to a survey of central bank reserve managers who collectively control more than $8,000 billion, unlike in the past when they said the dollar would retain its status as the sole reserve currency. -- The dollar would be replaced by a portfolio of currencies within the next 25 years. Central banks have bought about 151 tons of gold so far this year, led by Russia and Mexico, according to the World Gold Council, and are on track to make their largest annual purchases of bullion since the collapse in 1971 of the Bretton Woods system, which pegged the value of the dollar to gold. The Yellow metal

Would be the best performing asset class over the next year, citing sovereign defaults as the chief risk to the global economy. 

US debt now amounts to over $ 14 trillion , equal to its GDP .Even in this GDP , the financial industry contributes 40%.The US economy is now 20-25 % of world GDP unlike 50% after WWII and is being artificially sustained by a stimulus of  $ 2.8 trillion .There are no green shoots of revival , unemployment continues to rise . US economy remains in recession .The 1930s recession was overcome by WWII which allowed its protected ( from war) industry to run full steam and indebt European and other countries .With many industries disappearing or in decline , even the automobile one ,the US economic downhill can only worsen. 

For the first time ever, the United States lost its perfect credit rating as Standard & Poor's reduced its long-term debt assessment in August last year from AAA to AA+ with a negative outlook.
In announcing the move, the ratings agency said a deal that week to reduce the nation's debt did not go far enough and exposed paralyzing political dysfunction. The downgrade could cost the government and ordinary consumers billions of dollars by jacking up interest rates the U.S. must pay on its $14.4 trillion debt and a host of rates consumers pay for items such as mortgages, car loans and credit cards. 

Has the Critical moment of Paradigm Shift Arrived
In an article of 26 October, 2011, titled 'The End of the American Era', Prof Stephen M. Walt stated that 'THE AMERICAN ERA' began immediately after World War II. Europe may have been the center of international politics for over three centuries, but two destructive world wars decimated these great powers. So is USA in many wars .Paul Kennedy's best-selling Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, had argued in 1985 that America was in danger of "imperial overstretch." He believed that Great Britain returned to the unseemly ranks of mediocrity because it spent too much money defending far-flung interests and fighting costly wars, and he warned that the United States was headed down a similar path.
A new Reserve currency to challenge the dollar – What's really going on in the Straits of Hormuz.
Speculation and talk about a Settlement or Reserve Currency has been going for quite some time, especially in the last few years. David Malone, author of the "The Debt Generation" has focused considerable attention on the financial systems. The Settlement Currency just means the currency both parties agree is stable, internationally trusted and accepted, and in plentiful supply which may not be the case for their own currencies. China and some other countries want to challenge the US and dollar hegemony with the eventual goal of creating an alternative reserve currency backed by gold rather than the dollar or by debt. These countries have been buying lots of gold and include Russia, China and India among others .They are talking about the need for a new reserve currency to replace the dollar.
Malone noted media reports that India was talking to Iran about moving out of dollar settlements so as to be able to buy Iranian oil despite a US embargo. India said it was discussing settling payments in Gold since Iran does not buy much from India unlike from China. India has also signed a settlement agreement with China to use the Yuan. China and Russia have been trading directly in their own currencies and using them both interchangeably for settlement for over a year. As the "The China Daily "article reported that Beijing is allowing greater use of its currency for cross-border transactions to reduce reliance on the US dollar, after Premier Wen Jiabao said in March last year that he was "worried" about holdings of assets denominated in the greenbacks.
Then on 26th December 2011 Bloomberg reported, Japan and China will promote direct trading of the yen and Yuan without using dollars and will encourage the development of a market for companies involved in the exchanges. China is Japan's largest trading partner. Japan will also start in 2012 buying Chinese debts. How much Dollar debt will either of them buy? They have both already been buying less.
On Dec.28 last year the Iranian news service reported that Iran and China signed two agreements on expansion of trade ties and joint investments. These trades too will not be settled in Dollars or in Euros.
 "The China Post" reported that on the last day of 2011, US President Obama had signed a new law imposing sanctions on banks dealing with Iran….Sanctioned institutions would be frozen out of U.S. financial markets. But as the article went on to report, with only barely concealed delight, the threat may be as hollow as the dollar itself. The law comes with exemptions which may eventually highlight America's plight rather than its might.
"The Iranian oil embargo blowback "
While events and changes have been taking place as do all major historical movements and changes, perhaps the US and EU decision to put more sanctions against Iran and for EU not to buy Iran oil from July may be one of the straws that breaks the US Camel of Dollar Reserve Currency .Iran is an important oil supplier to emerging Asian countries like China, Japan, South Korea and India.
India whose prime minister committed Indians of deep love for George Bush, a few years ago, as a result of one harmful policy after another against India by Washington, finding its back stretched has decided that New Delhi, faced with difficulties to make payment by banks for Iranian oil will even settle the accounts in gold bullion, according to media reports including one close to Israel.
Veteran journalist Pepe Escobar puts it colourfully in his Asia Times column "The Iranian oil embargo blowback ";
"Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, "Unilateral sanctions don't help matters". The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing, exercising immense tact, nevertheless was unmistakable; "To blindly pressure and impose sanctions on Iran are not constructive approaches." 

Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said, "We have very good relations with Iran, and we are putting much effort into renewing Iran's talks with the 5+1 [Iran Six - the United Nations Security Council permanent members plus Germany] mediators' group. Turkey will continue looking for a peaceful solution to the issue." 

BRICS member India - alongside Russia and China - also dismissed sanctions. South Korea and Japan will inevitably extract exemptions from the Barack Obama administration. 

All across Eurasia trade is fast moving away from the US dollar. The Asian Dollar Exclusion Zone, crucially, also means that Asia is slowly disengaging itself from Western banks. 

The movement may be led by China - but it's irreversibly transnational. Once again, follow the money. BRICS members China and Brazil started bypassing the US dollar on trade in 2007. BRICS members Russia and China did the same in 2010. Japan and China - the top two Asian giants - did the same only last month. 

Only last week, Saudi Arabia and China rolled out a project for a giant oil refinery in the Red Sea. And India more or less secretly is deciding to pay for Iranian oil in gold - even bypassing the current middleman, a Turkish bank. 

Asia wants a new international system - and it's working for it. Inevitable long-term consequences; the US dollar - and, crucially, the petrodollar - slowly drifting into irrelevance. "Too Big to Fail" may turn out to be not a categorical imperative, but an epitaph
." concluded Escobar.
Under US pressure ,EU declared economic war in the form of an Iranian oil embargo , beginning July , never mind many of their refineries are suited to light Iranian oil , although Libya can make up for some of the loss, the only thing the invaders have set right since Gaddafi lynching . Libya remains chaotic, with torture and strong trends towards a possible civil war, showing that West was only interested in stealing Libyan oil, having earlier gulped its assets in Western banks.
Against ill thought bluff moves, chess players in Iran have acted fast. The Majlis (Iranian parliament) is discussing  the matter of sanctions and EU embargo on 29 January and may decide  to cancel right away all oil exports to any European country that approved the embargo .A member of Parliament Nasser Soudani: declared "Europe will burn in the fire of Iran's oil wells." 
Wrote Ambassador M.K.Bhadrakumar in his recent blog;
"The week ahead promises to be of momentous importance for the Middle East - and for international security. Two templates are overlapping in Tehran. One, Iran's Majlis is voting today on a legislation to put embargo on oil exports to Europe w.e.f coming week. The indications are that the law will sail through and may forthwith secure the approval of the Guardian Council. 
Iran's retaliation has huge implications for international security. Put simply, we are all wading into unchartered waters. There is high probability of a chain reaction with oil price skyrocketing. The analysts have only been dabbling in the subject, as the latest disclosure by Reuters from Tehran suggests. 
"The Reuters report says that all European companies with pending oil contracts with Iran are going to be hit. For Italy's Eni, for instance, the buyback contracts are worth $1.5 billion. Again, around 70 refineries in Europe will need to be shut down if the light, 'sweet' crude from Iran is unavailable. So, it all goes far beyond a matter of shortages in crude supply that Saudi Arabia can somehow make up.
Significantly, Saudi FM Prince Saud Al-Faisal has been quoted as saying that there is no 'binding decision' by the GCC countries in response to the EU's sanctions against Iran and adding, most interestingly, that they will only defer to decisions made by the UN. The FM underscored the importance of a "balanced market" for oil
Riyadh is obviously having a multitude of considerations, which certainly includes Saudi Arabia's long-term relationship with Iran and the logic of geography that places the two countries as neighbours. Prince Faisal was speaking on the sidelines of a GCC-Turkey conference in Istanbul on Saturday where Turkish FM Ahmed Davutoglu categorically distanced his country from sanctions against Iran.
Meanwhile, the IAEA inspectors have arrived in Tehran. Iran's dialogue with the IAEA is resuming after a gap of 3 years. Most western assessments are already pessimistic about the prospects of the talks, while Iranian FM Ali Akbar Salehi has sounded hopeful
The IAEA director-general Yukiya Amano, ominously, has dimension "to Iran's nuclear programme. Unlike Mohammed ElBaradei, who had a mind of his own, Amano holds the American brief and seems to be working toward the objective of referring Iran to the UN Security Council. 
Ironically, he acknowledges that he has no proof in hand that there is any military content to Iran's nuclear programme. Equally, the renowned former IAEA director Hans Blix has suggested that there is still room for diplomacy
But if the intention is to browbeat Iran, the inspectors aren't going to get anywhere. The supreme leader's advisor and elder statesman Ali Akbar Velayati has forewarned that Iran won't blink. Tehran is on guard that the IAEA inspectors are possibly holding a western brief. Velayati said:"We [Iran] have always been open with regard to our nuclear issues and the IAEA team coming to Iran can make the necessary inspections. We will, however, not withdraw from our nuclear rights as we have consistently acted within international regulations and in line with the laws of the non-proliferation treaty. Furthermore, wherever Iran has any nuclear activities, the IAEA cameras have constant monitoring ,adds Amb Bhadrakumar. 

If EU hopes that Saudi Arabia will bail out , whatever the spin in Western corporate media – Riyadh does not have the spare capacity. Saudis will be happy with higher prices  is high oil prices, as they have indicated ,to bribe - apart from repressing - its own population into forgetting about Arab revolts against US puppets in Arab states in north Africa and Yemen. It is likely that the Europeans will be compelled to buy oil at higher prices indirectly through intermediaries. This will hit Club Med countries such as Spain, Italy and Greece, having little time to find a possible alternative to Iran's light, high-quality crude.  Greece - already facing the abyss - has been buying heavily discounted oil from Iran. The oil embargo may even precipitating a Greek government bond default - and have even cascading effect in the Euro-zone (Ireland, Portugal, Italy, Spain – and even beyond)

Reaction to sanctions and embargo 
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, "Unilateral sanctions don't help matters". Foreign Ministry in Beijing, said "To blindly pressure and impose sanctions on Iran are not constructive approaches." 

Even Turkey which has been cajoled and enticed into supporting Saudi policies by Yesil Surmaye aka Green Money from Riyadh since 2001 , finds that its  Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu policy of 'Zero friction with neighbours ' has ended in  tensions with all its neighbours and the passage of Armenian genocide bill in French Parliament . Davutoglu, who recently visited Tehran to sort out differences said  "We have very good relations with Iran, and we are putting much effort into renewing Iran's talks with the 5+1 [Iran Six - the United Nations Security Council permanent members plus Germany] mediators' group. Turkey will continue looking for a peaceful solution to the issue." 

BRICS member India - alongside Russia and China – is opposed to sanctions according the media including a website close to Israel. India will keep buying Iranian oil and paying in rupees or even in gold. After being led by the noose and hood winked by Washington on Indo-US Nuclear Treaty which has given no freedom from NSG regime or access to advanced technology, not allowed to work out an energy security policy with Iran and others, New Delhi is moving away from total obedience to Washington, since the replacement of a policeman National Security Adviser by a strategic expert.
Oil Bourses
West controls the oil trade via three current oil markers , all US dollar denominated: North America's West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI), North Sea Brent Crude, and the UAE Dubai Crude. The two major oil bourses are the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) in New York City and the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) in London & Atlanta.
US led west and its oil companies manipulate oil prices .Now the stimulus of over three trillion dollars is used to play around the stocks in the world and use this vast almost interest free sum for speculating in commodities and oil .Energy expert and economist William Engdahl has proved clearly, how a large portion of high oil prices paid by the world goes into the pockets of western speculators who have free access to massive funds from US and allied banks.
A defiant president Saddam Hussein of Iraq had converted in 2000, all its oil transactions under the Oil for Food program to Euros. When U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, it returned oil sales from the euro to the USD .It is now clear that the invasion of Iraq had little threat from Saddam's so called WMD program but with gaining strategic control over Iraq's hydrocarbon reserves and in doing so maintain the U.S. dollar as the monopoly currency for the critical international oil market.   
Iran has been planning its own independent oil bourse since 2005 .In middle ages when trade was mostly done by caravans along Silk Routes , the empires vied with each other to control them and fought wars (See War Over Silk Routes and Petro-Bourses: Would History Repeat Itself ?)
The Iranian Oil Bourse in Kish took some time to develop as a Petro bourse ,a fourth oil market, denominated by the Iranian rial, the euro and other major currencies. It opened for business on February 17, 2008, a joint venture between Iranian ministries, the Iran Mercantile Exchange and other state and private institutions. It is located at the Persian Gulf island of Kish and is designated by Iran as a free trade zone.
During 2007, Iran asked its petroleum customers to pay in non US dollar currencies. By December 8, 2007, Iran was reported to have converted all of its oil export payments to non-dollar currencies. The Kish Bourse was opened in a videoconference ceremony on February 17, 2008, despite last minute disruptions to the internet services to the Persian Gulf regions.
According to Iran's Press TV, Iran's international oil bourse was officially inaugurated in July 2011.   The opening ceremony was attended by Iran's First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi, Economy Minister Shamseddin Husseini, and Caretaker of the Oil Ministry Mohammad Aliabadi. 

National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) was expected to offer 600,000 barrels of heavy crude oil for sale on the first day launch of the bourse. Ali Akbar Hashemian, the managing director of Iran Mercantile Exchange, said the NIOC planned to offer 50,000 barrels of Iran's crude on the bourse on a regular daily basis, once all the necessary requirements are satisfied. Iran, OPEC's second-largest oil producer, has the world's second largest natural gas reserves after Russia.
US led West and the world itself is entering an unknown territory. The only definite outcome is the reduction and perhaps elimination of US led Western hegemony since WWII and almost a rogue elephant like run in the world since the Fall of the Berlin Wall .But how long will it take US to be reduced in influence and economic and military reach !The first shoe fell in September 2008 .
When will the second shoe fall?
Let me conclude with a historic parallel .After centuries of warfare, both the Byzantine and Persian empires collapsed .The Soviet empire collapsed in 1990s. Is it now the turn of the US led Western hegemony! 

In end 1993 , along with six ambassadors resident in Ankara I flew to Baku , capital of Azerbaijan , to present our first letters of credence to president Haidar Aliev , a former senior member of the Soviet Politburo , from Azerbaijan  After the letters ceremony and calls on ministers , I called on resident ambassadors in Baku .The new US embassy was quite large and imposing , the British, smaller undergoing renovation; the Israeli , extensive extensions and renovation . 

But I was in for a shock when I called on the Russian ambassador, who's Residence, consisted of a couple of rooms in an Intourist hotel. Russians were the masters of Azerbaijan till it broke away a few years earlier. 

The point I want to make is that the Russians who lorded over Azerbaijan till recently were reduced to such straits that its Ambassador Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary was confined to a suite in a two star hotel you find near old Delhi Railway station .But this kind of thing is not new in history . After all USSR had lost the Cold War , which was a tabletop nuclear war exercise between the two mighty adversaries .Moscow just could not match huge sums Washington poured into military expenditure . Washington now spends over US$ 700 billion for its defense and over $ One Trillion in all on National Security according to Chris Hellmen in Tomgram. 

Ambassador (retd) K.Gajendra Singh 30 January, 2012.Mayur Vihar, Delhi

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Why Washington is opposed to Vladimir Putin election as Russian President

Why Washington is opposed to Vladimir Putin election as Russian President
There seems to be no limit to Washington's idiocy in international relations, when clearly as a premier economic power US is declining fast and like a seriously diseased patient, on drip, just about surviving. Yes , it spends  over $ 700 billion on defense at the behest of military and energy combine underpinned by corrupt financiers and bankers , who benefit .American people be damned .Like a rogue beast it goes around damaging  nations and  threatening everyone around the world .Yes ,it still has great destructive power with Iran in its sights since 2003 .But US and Israel would not remain unscathed of the terrible consequences . It is not 1945 and WE or Israel would not get away using nukes against a non-nuke state. Not only would the Muslim world including Saudi Street, the whole world not tolerate such an action.
US debt equals its GDP and has a trade deficit of $500 billion and survives only by increasing its debt to other nations including China , whom it treats as an adversary with regular  menaces  .To counter the US a financial bully , because the 1944 Bretton Woods agreement made US dollar the reserve currency by mid 1950s ,which Washington is manipulating and exploiting with IMF and the World Bank help guard US interests ,many nations like China, Russia, Iran ,India ,Brazil ,Venezuela among others are making arrangements for settlement of bilateral trade in their own currencies thus avoiding the use of US dollar as reserve currency . Apart from Iraq's oil which Washington coveted , Saddam Hussein's decision not to sell oil in US dollars was an unforgivable act for US loot to continue , so the illegal US invasion of Iraq and its destruction .Not that US has been able to exploit Iraq oil .
USA has destroyed international law and Human rights and Geneva conventions, beginning with George Bush who soon after election tore up more international treaties and disregarded more UN conventions than the rest of the world in past 20 years. Former president Billy Carter, a respected elder statesman moaned in the Washington Post as early as September 2002  that, "formerly admired almost universally as the pre-eminent champion of human rights, our country has become the foremost target of respected international organizations concerned about these basic principles of democratic life." Since then US along with poodle England and now Sarcozy have broken innumerable treaties and conventions.

Caught in the Iraqi quagmire, US had to withdraw its forces from Iraq. It had little choice .Ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, decorated Marine Col Murtha had said in end 2005 that the US army in Iraq was 'broken, worn out' and would be withdrawn. It is not an exact parallel but the people of USSR and its military had destroyed 80% of Nazi war machine , but the Anglo-Saxons by false narratives and helped by propaganda and films like 'The longest day' ,'Gen Patton' etc have fooled the people that US alone won the war . It is lie.
It is the people of Iraq and their resistance against the occupation which brought the US ground forces to its knees and leading to the withdrawal of US troops .For history of Iraq invasion and brutal occupation see here.
As for the situation in Afghanistan, where US wants to hang on to the bases in non-Pushtun areas , likely to come under the control of the former Northern Alliance , the backbone of president Hamid Karzai's power base, Washington is now pathetically dependent to supply its troops in Afghanistan via northern routes i.e. central Asian republics  , whose leaders do not trust Washington .It is to be seen how the fundamental differences in an unequal marriage between Washington and Islamabad , would be resolved for supplies to Afghanistan, now under suspension . A peaceful solution will and can come about only by the consent of all stakeholders, specially the countries in the region.
Faced with terrible economic and other fundamental problems the suffering people of America are protesting daily all over America, but the Nobel Peace (?) Prize Laureate president Obama is now obsessed with his re-election, as the nominee of the corporate interests, who have brought US to this miserable state and finance all presidential candidates. What a galaxy of candidates? The American people deserve better .A busy and humming armament industry US suits the corporate interests. French president Sarcozy also believes and is following US leadership and macho military behavior, in his re-election campaign.
Post Balkan Wall Fall Eurasia
After the Fall of the Berlin Wall, a triumphant US led capitalist West went about dismantling the Union of Socialist Republics and 'induced' Moscow's erstwhile allies in Europe to join NATO. US & NATO forces dismembered the multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-lingual Slav and orthodox Yugoslavia , which with religious and ethnic affinities was strategically closer to Russia .

Using the pretext the 119 attacks on US symbols of economic and military might in New York and Washington, which more and more people are now coming round to believe was an inside job or at best allowed to happen like "Pearl Harbor" which brought US into WWII, Washington, instead of attacking Saudi Arabia and Egypt, from where most of the hijackers originated, first bombed Afghanistan, coercing ally Pakistan into joining it or get bombed to stone age and installed a former UNOCOL consultant Hamid Karzai as the new ruler in Kabul after the Taliban leadership disappeared into Pakistan and northern Alliance marched into Kabul. Then on flimsy grounds US illegally invaded Iraq in 2003 for its oil.

Taking advantage of the unraveling of USSR into many states now in utter disarray, under the pretext of US led 'War on terror' in Afghanistan, Washington acquired bases in the heart of central Asia; in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, the last adjoining China's turbulent Turkic speaking Uighur province of Xinjiang.

Washington then organized US franchised (like McDonalds, KFC outlets) street revolutions financed by US non-governmental fronts and organizations, CIA and Washington's envoys in former Russian allies in Europe and in Moscow's near abroad. It succeeded in Serbia (from which Montenegro was detached making it landlocked), Georgia and Ukraine , but failed in Belarus . In Uzbekistan, where the regime change was attempted a few weeks after Kyrgyzstan regime change in March 2005, feisty Islam Karimov expelled the US forces from its base. In Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan ,US puppets were replaced .Georgia was bashed up 3 years ago .Washington is now begging the central Asian states to let supplies go to Afghanistan for its troops .
How West organizes its Franchised Revolutions:

"Elections are a moment of triumph," gloated USA Today after the so called Orange Revolution. It added that " the potential is clear: Ukraine's Orange Revolution was fueled by young voters in Kiev, who created Web sites and wrote rap songs to inspire voters. They ate at the McDonald's off Independence Square and lined up at Coca-Cola kiosks for drinks. The Orange Revolution is the latest in what appears to be a slow trend toward more democracy among the former Soviet republics and satellite states, including Georgia in 2003, Serbia in 2000 and years earlier in the Czech Republic and Poland.

Yes, the same tactics were applied by the US triumphantly in Serbia in 2000 to topple Slobodan Milosevic. Michael Kozak, the US ambassador in Minsk, then sought to emulate the success in elections in Belarus against the authoritarian Alexander Lukashenko, but failed.

There were many write ups in Guardian, Globalsearch and other websites which have documented western agencies' support to such revolutions. According to New Statesman Yushchenko was supported covertly by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Freedom House and George Soros' Open Society Institute, the very entities, which had helped oust Shevardnadze last year. The NED has four affiliate institutes: The International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), and the American Center for International Labor Solidarity (ACILS). They" provide technical assistance to aspiring democrats worldwide."

"In Ukraine, the NED and its constituent organizations funded Yushchenko's party Nasha Ukraine (Our Ukraine), as well as the Kiev Press Club. Freedom House, along with "The Independent Republican Institute (IRI) "were involved in assessing the "fairness of elections and their results". IRI had its staff in "poll watching" in 9 districts, and local staff in all 25 districts. "There are professionals outside election monitors from bodies such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, but the Ukrainian poll, like its predecessors, also featured thousands of local election monitors trained and paid by western groups. ... They also organized exit polls which gave Yushchenko an 11-point lead and set the agenda for much of what has followed."

Of course, western media and governments are committed to the "Freedom of the Press". They organize exit polls and then feed disinformation into the Western news chain, create and fund "pro-Western", "pro-reform" student groups, who then organize mass displays of civil disobedience. (Read Traynor, in Guardian) "In the Ukraine, the Pora Youth movement ("Its Time") funded by the Soros Open Society Institute is part of that process with more than 10,000 activists. Supported by the Freedom of Choice Coalition of Ukrainian NGOs, Pora is modeled on Serbia's Otpor and Georgia's Kmara. The Freedom of Choice Coalition acts as an Umbrella organization. It is directly supported by the US and British embassies in Kiev as well as by Germany, through the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (a foundation linked to the ruling Social Democrats). For full Ukraine Elections Confirm Rollback of US Hegemony
Russia's Putin a major obstacle against Western domination.  
Vladimir Putin remains a major obstacle in US led western policy to continue and lengthen their dominance over the rest of the world. Russia in tandem with China and to a significant degree Iran, form the spine, however shaky, of the only effective global axis of resistance to Western hegemony and law of the jungle (beasts –are more considerate in destruction than say US and UK in Iraq).
So the standard lies and propaganda against Putin.
USA with blatant political and financial support tried to organize street revolutions ( as discussed above) in Russia against the recent parliament polls in which Putin's party did badly .But basically these were aimed at stopping Putin becoming president again in March ,2012 .Dr William Engdahl , a world reputed independent journalist, historian and economist , has a very perceptive , detailed and documented essay on the subject below ;
Amb (Retd) K.Gajendra Singh, 12 January ,2012 ,Mayur Vihar, Delhi

Why Washington Wants 'Finito' with Putin
The Shady National Endowment for Democracy & The Prime Agenda of 'Whoever' is Next US President
By F. William Engdahl
 January 10, 2012 "BFP" -- Washington clearly wants 'finito' with Russia's Putin as in basta! Or as they said in Egypt last spring, Kefaya–enough!  Hillary Clinton and friends have apparently decided Russia's prospective next president, Vladimir Putin, is a major obstacle to their plans. Few however understand why. Russia today, in tandem with China and to a significant degree Iran, form the spine, however shaky, of the only effective global axis of resistance to a world dominated by one sole superpower.

On December 8 several days after election results for Russia's parliamentary elections were announced, showing a sharp drop in popularity for Prime Minister Putin's United Russia party, Putin accused the United States and specifically Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of fuelling the Russian opposition protesters and their election protests. Putin stated, "The (US) Secretary of State was quick to evaluate the elections, saying that they are unfair and unjust even before she received materials from the Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (the OSCE international election monitors-w.e.) observers."[1]
Putin went on to claim that Clinton's premature comments were the necessary signal to the waiting opposition groups that the US Government would back their protests. Clinton's comments, the seasoned Russian intelligence pro stated, became a "signal for our activists who began active work with the US Department of State." [2]
Major western media chose either to downplay the Putin statement or to focus almost entirely on the claims of an emerging Russian opposition movement. A little research shows that, if anything, Putin was downplaying the degree of brazen US Government interference into the political processes of his country. In this case the country is not Tunisia or Yemen or even Egypt. It is the world's second nuclear superpower, even if it might still be an economic lesser power. Hillary is playing with thermonuclear fire.
Democracy or something else?
No mistake, Putin is not a world champion practitioner of what most consider democracy. His announcement some months back that he and current President Medvedev had agreed to switch jobs after Russia's March 4 Presidential vote struck even many Russians as crass power politics and backroom deal-making. That being said, what Washington is doing to interfere with that regime change is more than brazen and interventionist. The same Obama Administration which just signed into law measures effectively ripping to shreds the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution for American citizens[3] is posing as world supreme judge of others' adherence to what they define as democracy.
 Let's examine closely Putin's charge of US interference in the election process. If we look, we find openly stated in their August 2011 Annual Report that a Washington-based NGO with the innocuous name, National Endowment for Democracy (NED), is all over the place inside Russia.
The NED is financing an International Press Center in Moscow where some 80 international NGOs can hold press briefings on whatever they choose. They fund numerous "youth advocacy" and leadership workshops to "help youth engage in political activism." In fact, officially they spent more than $2,783,000 in 2010 on dozens of such programs across Russia. Spending for 2011 won't be published until later in 2012. [4]
The NED is also financing key parts of the Russian "independent" polling and election monitoring, a crucial part of being able to claim election fraud. They finance in part the Regional Civic Organization in Defense of Democratic Rights and Liberties "GOLOS." According to the NED Annual Report the funds went "to carry out a detailed analysis of the autumn 2010 and spring 2011 election cycles in Russia, which will include press monitoring, monitoring of political agitation, activity of electoral commissions, and other aspects of the application of electoral legislation in the long-term run-up to the elections."[5]
In September, 2011, a few weeks before the December elections the NED financed a Washington invitation-only conference featuring the Russian "independent" polling organization, the Levada Center. According to NED's own website Levada, another recipient of NED money, [6] had done a series of opinion polls, a standard method used in the West to analyze the feelings of citizens. The polls profiled "the mood of the electorate in the run up to the Duma and presidential elections, perceptions of candidates and parties, and voter confidence in the system of 'managed democracy' that has been established over the last decade."
 One of the featured speakers at that Washington conference was Vladimir Kara-Murza, member of the federal council of Solidarnost ("Solidarity"), Russia's democratic opposition movement. He is also "advisor to Duma opposition leader Boris Nemtsov" according to NED. Another speaker came from the right-wing neo-conservative Hudson Institute. [7]
Nemtsov, one of the most prominent of the Putin opposition today is also co-chairman of Solidarnost, a name curiously enough imitated from the Cold War days when the CIA financed the Polish Solidarnosc workers' opposition of Lech Walesa. More on Nemtsov later.
And on December 15, 2011, again in Washington, just as the series of US-supported protests were being launched against Putin, led by Solidarnost and other organizations, the NED held another conference titled, Youth Activism in Russia: Can a New Generation Make a Difference? The featured speaker was Tamirlan Kurbanov, who according to the NED, "most recently served as a program officer at the Moscow office of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, where he was involved in developing and expanding the capacities of political and civic organizations; promoting citizen participation in public life, youth engagement in particular." [8] The National Democratic Institute is an arm of the NED.
The shady history of NED
Helping youth engage in political activism is precisely what the same NED did in Egypt over the past several years in the lead up to the toppling of Mubarak. The same NED was instrumental by informed accounts in the US-backed "Color Revolutions" in 2003-2004 in Ukraine and Georgia that brought US-backed pro-NATO surrogates to power. The same NED has been active in promoting "human rights" in Myanmar, in Tibet, and China's oil-rich Xinjiang province. [9] 
As careful analysts of the 2004 Ukraine "Orange revolution" and the numerous other US-financed color revolutions discovered, control of polling and ability to dominate international media perceptions, especially major TV such as CNN or BBC is an essential component of the Washington destabilization agenda. The Levada Center would likely be in a crucial position in this regard to issue polls showing discontent with the regime.
By their description, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is a "private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world. Each year, with funding from the US Congress, NED supports more than 1,000 projects of non-governmental groups abroad who are working for democratic goals in more than 90 countries."[10]
It couldn't sound more noble or high-minded. However, they prefer to leave out their own true history. In the early 1980's CIA director Bill Casey convinced President Ronald Reagan to create a plausibly private NGO, the NED, to advance Washington's global agenda via other means than direct CIA action. It was a part of the process of "privatizing" US intelligence to make their work more "effective." Allen Weinstein, who helped draft the legislation establishing NED, said in a Washington Post interview in 1991, "A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA."[11] Interesting. The majority of funds for NED come from US taxpayers through Congress. It is in every way, shape and form a US Government intelligence community asset.
The NED was created during the Reagan Administration to function as a de facto CIA, privatized so as to allow it more freedom of action. NED board members are typically drawn from the Pentagon and US intelligence community. It has included retired NATO General Wesley Clark, the man who led the US bombing of Serbia in 1999. Key figures linked to clandestine CIA actions who served on NED's board have included Otto Reich, John Negroponte, Henry Cisneros and Elliot Abrams. The Chairman of the NED Board of Directors in 2008 was Vin Weber, founder of the ultraconservative organization, Empower America, and campaign fundraiser for George W. Bush. Current NED chairman is John Bohn, former CEO of the controversial Moody's rating agency which played a nefarious role in the still-unraveling US mortgage securities collapse. As well today's NED board includes neo-conservative Bush-era ambassador to Iraq and to Afghanistan, Afghan-American Zalmay Khalilzad.[12]
Putin's well-rehearsed opposition
It's also instructive to look at the leading opposition figures who seem to have stepped forward in Russia in recent days. The current opposition "poster boy" favorite of Russian youth and especially western media is Russian blogger Alexei Navalny whose blog is titled LiveJournal. Navalny has featured prominently as a quasi-martyr of the protest movement after spending 15 days in Putin's jail for partaking in a banned protest. At a large protest rally on Christmas Day December 25 in Moscow, Navalny, perhaps intoxicated by seeing too many romantic Sergei Eisenstein films of the 1917 Russian Revolution, told the crowd, "I see enough people here to take the Kremlin and the White House (Russia's Presidential home-w.e.) right now…"[13]
Western establishment media is infatuated with Navalny. England's BBC  described Navalny as "arguably the only major opposition figure to emerge in Russia in the past five years," and US Time magazine called him "Russia's Erin Brockovich," a curious reference to the Hollywood film starring Julie Roberts as a trade union organizer. However, more relevant is the fact that Navalny went to the elite American East Coast Yale University, also home to the Bush family, where he was a "Yale World Fellow." [14] 
The charismatic Navalny however is also or has been on the payroll of Washington's regime-destabilizing National Endowment for Democracy (NED). According to a posting on Navalny's own blog, LiveJournal, he was financed in 2007-2008 by the NED. His Washington NED contact person was Frank Conatser.[15] A facsimile of an email exchange between Navalny and Conatser fronm November 17, 2007 is partially reproduced here.

From: Frank Conatser [mailto:frankc@NED.ORG]
Sent: Saturday, November 17, 2007 12:12 AM
To: Navalny Alexey; Aleksey Navalny
Cc: John Squier; Marc Schleifer
Subject: NED Agreements No. 2006-576 & No. 2007-688

Frank Conatser
Grants Administrator for Eurasia
National Endowment for Democracy
1025 F St, NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20004
202-378-9660 (phone)
202-378-9860 (fax)
(Excerpt from email exchange between Alexey Navalty and NED)[16]

Along with Navalny, key actors in the anti-Putin protest movement are centered around Solidarnost which was created in December 2008 by Boris Nemtsov, Vladimir Ryzhkov and others. Nemtsov is hardly one to protest corruption. According to Business Week Russia of September 23, 2007, Nemtsov introduced Russian banker Boris Brevnov to Gretchen Wilson, a US citizen and an employee of the International Finance Corporation, a financing arm of the World Bank. Wilson and Brevnov married. With the help of Nemtsov Wilson managed to privatize Balakhna Pulp and Paper mill at the giveaway price of just $7 million. The enterprise was sucked dry and then sold to the Wall Street-Swiss investment bank, CS First Boston bank. The annual turnover of the mill was reportedly $250 million. [17]
CS First Boston bank also paid for Nemtsov's trips to the very expensive Davos World Economic Forum. When Nemtsov became a member of the cabinet, his protégé Brevnov was appointed the chairman of the Unified Energy System of Russia JSC. Two years later in 2009 Boris Nemtsov, today's "Mr. anti-corruption," used his influence reportedly to get Brevnov off the hook for charges of embezzling billions from assets of Unified Energy System. [18]
Nemtsov also took money from jailed Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky in 1999 when the latter was using his billions to try to buy the Russian parliament or Duma. In 2004 Nemtsov met with exiled billionaire oligarch Boris Berezovsky in a secret gathering with other exiled Russian tycoons. When Nemtsov was detailed by Russian authorities for allegations of foreign funding of his new political party, "For Russia without Lawlessness and Corruption,"  US Senators John McCain and Joe Liberman and Mike Hammer of the Obama National Security Council came to support of Nemtsov. [19]
Nemtsov's close crony, Vladimir Ryzhkov of Solidarnost is also closely tied to the Swiss Davos circles, even founding a Siberian Davos. According to Russian press accounts from April 2005, Ryzhkov formed a Committee 2008 in 2003 to "draw" funds of the imprisoned Khodorkovsky along with soliciting funds from fugitive oligarchs such as Boris Berezovsky and western foundations such as the Soros Foundation. The stated aim of the effort was to rally "democratic" forces against Putin. On May 23, 2011 Ryzhkov, Nemtzov and several others filed to register a new Party of Peoples' Freedom to ostensibly field a presidential candidate against Putin in 2012.[20] 
Another prominent face in the recent anti-Putin rallies is former world chess champion turned right-wing politician, Garry Kasparov, another founder of Solidarnost. Kasparov was identified several years ago as being a board member of a Washington neo-conservative military think-tank. In April 2007, Kasparov admitted he was a board member of the National Security Advisory Council of Center for Security Policy, a "non-profit, non-partisan national security organization that specializes in identifying policies, actions, and resource needs that are vital to American security." Inside Russia Kasparov is more infamous for his earlier financial ties to Leonid Nevzlin, former Yukos vice-president and partner of Michael Khodorokvsky. Nevzlin fled to Israel on being charged in Russia on charges of murder and hiring contract killers to eliminate "objectionable people" while Yukos vice-president. [21]
In 2009 Kasparov and Boris Nemtsov met with no less than Barack Obama to discuss Russia's opposition to Putin at the US President's personal invitation at Washington's Ritz Carlton Hotel. Nemtsov had called for Obama to meet with opposition forces in Russia: "If the White House agrees to Putin's suggestion to speak only with pro-Putin organizations… this will mean that Putin has won, but not only that: Putin will become be assured that Obama is weak," he said. During the same 2009 US trip Nemtsov was invited to speak at the New York Council on Foreign Relations, perhaps the most influential US foreign policy think-tank. Significantly, not only has the US State Department and US-backed political NGOs such as NED poured millions into building an anti-Putin coalition inside Russia. The President personally has intervened into the process.[22]
Ryzhkov, Nemtzov, Navalty and Putin's former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin were all involved in organizing the December 25th Moscow Christmas anti-Putin rally which drew an estimated 120,000.[23]
Why Putin?
The salient question is why Putin at this point? We need not look far for the answer. Washington and especially Barack Obama's Administration don't give a hoot about whether Russia is democratic or not. Their concern is the obstacle to Washington's plans for Full Spectrum Dominance of the planet that a Putin Presidency will represent. According to the Russian Constitution, the President of the Russian Federation head of state, supreme commander-in-chief and holder of the highest office in the Russian Federation. He will take direct control of defense and foreign policy.
We must ask what policy? Clearly strong countermeasures against the blatant NATO encirclement of Russia with Washington's dangerous ballistic missile installations around Russia will be high on Putin's agenda. Hillary Clinton's "reset" will be in the dustbin if it is not already. We can also expect a more aggressive use of Russia's energy card with pipeline diplomacy to deepen economic ties between European NATO members such as Germany, France and Italy, ultimately weakening the EU support for aggressive NATO measures against Russia. We can expect a deepening of Russia's turn towards Eurasia, especially with China, Iran and perhaps India to firm up the shaky spine of resistance to Washington's New World Order plans.
It will take more than a few demonstrations in sub-freezing weather in Moscow and St. Petersburg by a gaggle of corrupt or shady opposition figures such as Nemtsov or  Kasparov to derail Russia. What is clear is that Washington is pushing on all fronts—Iran and Syria, where Russia has a vital naval port, on China, now on Russia, and on the Eurozone countries led by Germany. It has the smell of an end-game attempt by a declining superpower.
The United States today is a de facto bankrupt nuclear superpower.  The reserve currency role of the dollar is being challenged as never since Bretton Woods in 1944. That role along with maintaining the United States as the world's unchallenged military power have been the basis of the American Century hegemony since 1945.
Weakening the role of the dollar in international trade and ultimately as reserve currency, China is now settling trade with Japan in bilateral currencies, side-stepping the dollar. Russia is implementing similar steps with her major trade partners. The primary reason Washington launched a full-scale currency war against the Euro in late 2009 was to preempt a growing threat that China and others would turn away from the dollar to the Euro as reserve currency. That is no small matter. In effect Washington finances its foreign wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and elsewhere through the fact that China and other trade surplus nations invest their surplus trade dollars in US government Treasury debt. Were that to shift significantly, US interest rates would rise substantially and the financial pressures on Washington would become immense.
Faced with growing erosion of her unchallenged global status as sole superpower, Washington appears now to be turning increasingly to raw military force to hold that. For that to succeed Russia must be neutralized along with China and Iran. This will be the prime agenda of whoever is next US President.  
F. William Engdahl is author of A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics in the New World Order. He may be contacted through his website at where this article was originally published. 


[1] Alexei Druzhinin, Putin says US encouraging Russian opposition, RIA Novosti, Moscow, December 8, 2011
[2] Ibid.
[3] Jonathan Turley, The NDAA's historic assault on American liberty,, 2 January 2012, accessed in .
[4] National Endowment for Democracy, Russia, from NED Annual Report 2010, Washington, DC, published in August 2011, accessed in 
[5] Ibid.
[6] Ibid. 
[7] NED, Elections in Russia: Polling and Perspectives, September 14, 2011, accessed in
[8] NED, Youth Activism in Russia: Can a New Generation Make a Difference?, December 15, 2011, accessed in .
[9] F. William Engdahl, Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order, 2010, edition.engdahl press . The book describes in detail the origins of the NED and various US-sponsored "human rights" NGOs and how they have been used to topple regimes not friendly to a larger USA geopolitical agenda. 
[10] National Endowment for Democracy, About Us, accessed in 
[11] David Ignatius, Openness is the Secret to Democracy, Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 30 September-6 October,1991, 24-25.
[12] F. William Engdahl, Op. Cit., p.50.
[13] Yulia Ponomareva, Navalny and Kudrin boost giant opposition rally, RIA Novosti, Moscow, December 25, 2011. 
[14] Yale University, Yale World Fellows: Alexey Navalny, 2010, accessed in 
[15] Alexey Navalny, emails between Navalny and Conatser, accessed in Russian (English summary provided to the author ) on 
[16] Ibid.
[17] Business Week Russia, Boris Nemtsov: Co-chairman of Solidarnost political movement, Business Week Russia, September 23, 2007, accessed in 
[18] Ibid.
[19] Ibid.
[20] Russian, Vladimir Ryzhkov: Co-chairman of the Party of People's Freedom, accessed in 
[21] Russian, Garry Kasparov: The leader of United Civil Front, accessed in 
[22] The OtherRussia, Obama Will Meet With Russian Opposition, July 3, 2009, accessed in 
[23] Yulia Ponomareva, op. Cit.